Dr Michael Hunzeker talks about his new book, Dying to Learn that looks at innovation and learning on the Western Front during the First World War.
Michael is an associate professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government, the associate director of the Schar School’s Center for Security Policy Studies, and a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. In this Mentioned in Dispatches podcast he develops a novel theory to explain how wartime militaries learn. He focuses on the Western Front, which witnessed three great-power armies struggle to cope with deadlock throughout the First World War, as the British, French, and German armies all pursued the same solutions-assault tactics, combined arms, and elastic defence in depth. He argues that by the end of the war, only the German army managed to develop and implement a set of revolutionary offensive, defensive, and combined arms doctrines that in hindsight represented the best way to fight. His book is published by Cornell University Press.